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    Killer pulls even with The Kid

    1972 Harmon Killebrew 521st Home Run Baseball. Baltimore Orioles manager Paul Richards once joked, "Killebrew can knock the ball out of any park, including Yellowstone." Six times the mighty Minnesota Twins slugger led the American League in long balls, retiring at the close of the 1975 season with a career tally of 573, which then stood as fifth best in Major League history behind only Aaron, Ruth, Mays and Frank Robinson.

    One of his most noteworthy blasts is memorialized here, a scorched sphere that pulled him even with one of his childhood heroes, the legendary Ted Williams. It's interesting to note that 521 would later prove to be the career total for both Willie McCovey and Frank Thomas, making the figure the most crowded rung on the 500 Club ladder. Tiger Stadium served as the venue for Killer's 521st, an eighth inning solo shot against tough knuckleballer Joe Niekro that would conclude the scoring in a five to three loss to the host club on June 3, 1972.

    The ball is consigned to this auction by Patrick Carver III, the son of the Twins scout to whom Killebrew gifted the ball, an OAL (Cronin) model bearing a painful-looking scuff suffered from either its meeting with Killebrew's Louisville Slugger or the outfield bleachers. Penned entirely in Killebrew's 9+/10 black ink, the inscription reads:

    "#521 Tiger Stadium, 6-3-72, Tied Ted Williams, Returned 6-4-72 by Kirk Miller, To My Good Friend Pat Carver, Sincere Regards, Harmon Killebrew."

    Historic home run baseballs have powered the upper end of sports collectibles now for decades, but rarely do those few from the rarefied air of the region north of the 500 mark appear on the hobby's auction block. This particularly noteworthy example, personally authenticated by the slugger himself, rates near the top of that thin population. Letter of provenance from Pat Carver III. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2014
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 872

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